Seán Lynch []     I would like to bring Ireland’s “Our Oceans Wealth” strategy into question i.e. the undebated sale of our natural assets. In Bantry Bay, West Co. Cork which is said to have the cleanest coastal waters in Ireland, a licence has been issued to industrially harvest 1,860 acres of native kelp forest with no MSP, no ICZM, no EIA and completely inadequate advertising (a short column in a paper with no maps).

See: The advert:

A map of the areas licensed for industrial harvest without public or stakeholder consultation:

No stakeholder consultation has taken place. The local community was also not consulted. MSP completely out the window on this one. A slap in the face to our community and the years of hardworking research put into the sustainable practices of MSP in my opinion. No talk of MSP research for academics, graduates or environmental consultants and no talk of the potential impact this might have on sustainable fisheries and/or tourism for many future generations to come. These are intact native ecosystems – surely worth investigating before harvesting?

I attended a meeting recently and I am happy to volunteer my services to the community and invite others in MSPRN to keep up to date on this lively discussion that has really pulled the local community together in recent weeks. No one in the groups are against the sustainable harvesting of marine resources. Many are and have been involved in the fisheries and seaweed and tourist industries themselves but feel completely marginalised and visibly fearful for their and their generational livelihoods. Just as we are becoming to understand the complexity of marine ecology, which is not yet a part of the Irish educational curriculum which I find quite bizarre for a relatively small peripheral island nation on a largely ocean planet, it seems that short-term profits without the most basic research are in greater interest than informed debate thanks to the current Irish government – can’t say I am surprised.

I invite you to look into this and offer your insights on the matter.

If you would like to support the community, you may sign and share this petition if you like.

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